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Southern Oregon Sawmill To Reopen Thanks to State Help

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Amelia Templeton / Earthfix
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Governor John Kitzhaber Friday announced a $5 million funding package that will allow Josephine County's last sawmill to re-open.
 
The Rough & Ready Sawmill in O'Brien closed a year ago. It will now be able to open with upgraded equipment thanks to a combination of tax credits and a state loan. At a press conference in White City, Owner Link Phillipi said he expects the mill will be able to hire more than 60 people.

Phillipi: "The overall effect is even greater than it appears. In addition to the 67 direct jobs, hundreds more will be created for logging contractors, truckers and suppliers, and for the community businesses we all patronize."

The Phillipis plan to convert their mill so it can cut small logs from forest thinning and ecological restoration projects.
Rough & Ready Lumber was cutting large pine logs when it closed for lack of logs last year, putting 88 people out of work.
Bettina von Hagen of Ecotrust says they have put together similar funding to keep other mills operating in Oregon.
 

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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